LIFE NEWS BY STEVEN ERTELT AUG 9, 2016 | 10:35AM WASHINGTON, DC
Donald Trump will be on the presidential campaign trail in Florida this week, speaking with hundreds of pastors in Florida about overturning the Johnson Amendment, which essentially prevents pastors from speaking on politics.
During his Republican nomination acceptance speech, Trump specifically reached out to evangelicals and pro-life voters with a message about religious liberty and allowing pastors and priests the opportunity to preach pro-life political values from the pulpit.
“At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical community who have been so good to me and so supportive. You have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits,” Trump said. “An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.”
Now, Trump will be speaking to hundreds of pastors this Thursday in Orlando, Florida at an event sponsored by the American Renewal Project. As CBN News reports, Trump will speak to them about his push to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which it says has made it more difficult for pastors to speak out on political issues and candidates from the pulpit.
“Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and others have appeared at these private events before but this is Trump’s first appearance. Jerry Falwell Jr. played a key role in initiating this idea of Trump appearing before pastors,” CBN reports.
The Christian news outlet provided the following analysis:
“Events like this one will be crucial to Trump if he wants to beat Hillary Clinton. The reality is that evangelical pastors are a major key ingredient to mobilizing the masses. They hold great power over a captive audience every week in the pews. Trump needs them engaged. If they are, the flocks will typically follow. The result? A bottom up approach that will affect turnout exponentially. The top down approach of receiving key endorsements won’t do squat unless the evangelicals sitting in the pews are motivated. Trump shouldn’t assume that the anti-Hillary sentiment will be all he needs. No. He needs to do some work and by showing up in Orlando he’s well on his way to striking evangelical gold.”
A number of pro-life groups have endorsed Trump recently — including one in Michigan.
The Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee has endorsed Donald Trump for president of the United States and his running mate Mike Pence for vice president.
The pro-life group tells LifeNews that Trump has given assurances that he will govern in a pro-life manner while Hillary Clinton is devoted to defending, expanding and funding abortion.
“Donald Trump has promised support for important prolife positions, especially judges that believe in the rule of law. Indiana Governor Mike Pence has a long track record of supporting pro-life legislation, both in Indiana and in Congress,” Right to Life of Michigan said.
RLM-PAC Chairman Paul Miller said, “The stakes in this election season could not be higher. Every year, more than one million lives are lost to abortion. We face a choice between allowing people to have a say on abortion laws or entrenching abortion-on-demand through court order for years.”
Miller told LifeNews that Trump said he came to his prolife views after watching a friend go through a crisis pregnancy and choose life. Trump released a list of potential U.S. Supreme Court justices that was widely praised by prolife organizations and other groups that believe judges shouldn’t rule by decree. Trump said he would defund the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and sign a ban on late-term abortions into law.
Miller said, “Trump’s campaign theme has been about giving the people a voice again. When it comes to abortion, people don’t have a say because unelected and biased judges dictate what the law will be.”